I am a Mississippian. Though the veterans I knew are all dead now, down to the final home guard drummer boy of my childhood, the remembrance of them is still with me.When I was a boy growing up in the 1960s, the old veterans were the ones from World War I. They're all gone now, too, at least the ones from my town.
Foote's greatest gift was giving voice to the men who fought, making them more than just dates and maps. Human.
Like General Thomas Wood at the battle of Murfreesboro, ordered to stop an overwhelming confederate advance:
"Goodbye, General," Wood replied as he set out in the direction of the uproar, which now was swelling louder as it drew nearer. "We'll all meet at the hatter's, as one raccoon said to another when the dogs were after them."General Wood survived the war, and the battle, with his sense of humor intact.